Today’s guest contribution is written by Caryl Lyons of ROAR events. She has been planning and producing corporate events for over 25 years, first working as an event manager for corporations and then running my own business. I’ve invited here to share advice for those of you wedding planners looking to expand into corporate events.
You have 2 clients; both want a similar type of event. Can you cut corners and deliver the same type of proposal to them? The answer is no.
Why you might ask? Well, because no two events are the same. Each has a different type of attendee/guest, reason why they are having the event, quite possibly a different budget and so much more.
As with anyone, you will get a potential client that says – can you give me a ballpark idea of what your fees would be? The simple answer is no. You need to understand all of their wants and needs before you can put together a proposal for them.
If you’re sending identical proposals, you are doing a disservice to you and to your client and letting your client know that you don’t understand their program.
Let me lay out a scenario for you and I would love to know if this sounds familiar.
You tell yourself of course I’m not going to give them a ballpark number, but they give you a brief synopsis of what they think the event would look like. It sounds very similar to a program you recently produced and your surprised by the conversation that is going on in your head. Well I did that event for 150 people and it took x amount of time and I charged the last client X. And then you hear yourself telling the client this event would cost X dollars. You just got completely sucked in.
You send over the proposal, get the contract signed and set up a call with the client to go through everything and you learn the full scope. Your head is spinning because you realize that this event is completely different than you imagined.
How can you avoid this situation? Meet with the client and ask for a complete event brief. Many times the clients don’t actually know what they want and it’s up to you to be the detective and ask very specific questions. This will help you put together a comprehensive proposal where you are being compensated fairly for your work and the client is getting everything they need.
Caryl Lyons began her events career in publishing, first in fashion at Condé Nast Publishing’s Mademoiselle Magazine and then in tech for Ziff-Davis’s PC/Computing Magazine. She loved tech so much, she decided to make the jump into corporate where she managed teams at PeopleSoft, Tesseract and Symantec Corporation. You can find her on instagram at @roarevents and @hotelwanderlust. AND – check out the ROAR mini-email course which shares all about the corporate events world. You can sign up by heading to: www.roarplaybook.com/jumpstart.